By Victor Kannan
I believe this idea of sankalpa* is unique in Sahaj Marg. It is not a mere will. It is not just a mere intention. It is also not just a plea, a condition, a loving compulsion or a resigned expectation; perhaps it’s a unique combination of all of the above.
Let us look at the components.
It is an act of will, because it requires a focused action on the part of the individual. But will alone is not going to get the job done, especially in the areas of inner human growth and transformation. At times, one would say intention is important and intention alone creates a field for action. But we all know the saying, “The way to hell is paved with good intentions.” Though cynical it may sound, it seemed to have been born out of human experience. It suggests that intention alone does not get us to the intended place or result.
Sankalpa also has the element of a plea or prayer or submission, because the required change is beyond one’s strength and capability. If a change is well within one’s own capacity, one must exercise one’s full strength and capability to achieve it. But more often than not, one resorts to prayer to a higher power for a desired change that is beyond one’s ability. Accepting the need to change is a very important aspect of this sankalpa, and a prayer to a higher power is needed. Moreover, with the inner condition of humility, admitting one’s powerlessness over the change process, the dependence on a higher power is emphasised.
This aspect of loving compulsion is nothing but the intense desire for transformation and the acute dependence on a higher power to effect the change. And after all this, a resignation to His will! Wow, if we can reach that state, I think all our mundane ills are cured! That is sankalpa to my mind’s understanding.
Kamlesh D Patel says, “When
certain conditions have to be created inside us, sankalpa is the best thing.
This is the best way to create something inside yourself or remove something
from yourself. And it has to be prayerful, that, “My Lord, may this be
removed.” It is like a prayer.
* “Sankalpa means a conception or idea or notion formed in the heart or mind; a solemn vow or determination to perform; a desire, definite intention, volition or will” - Wikipedia